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Orlando: home of the theme park. Florida is certainly a major player when it comes to them too, boasting over a dozen! Disney offer six in total; four theme parks and two water parks. Universal offers two theme parks and a brand new water park. There’s also SeaWorld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens and LEGOLAND making for an amazing portfolio of parks! There are some brand new attractions and also some coming in the next year - you’re certainly going to want to go once you’ve read this!
Walt Disney World
The big attraction coming this year is the arrival of Toy Story Land to Hollywood Studios. After long closures to most of the park, it’s set to open in summer 2018. Ride the Slinky Dog Dash rollercoaster and enjoy coils, curves, hills, bridges and drops. This wacky attraction is certainly an all-family-friendly coaster! The Alien Swirling Saucers take a classic tea cup ride and put a Toy Story twist on it, with flying saucers taking you on a dizzying ride through space! Not forgetting one of the most popular attractions at Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Mania. Slip under Andy’s bed and play a bunch of carnival games using your blaster to shoot your way to the high score!
Down at Disney Springs, there are eight new destinations for food and drink opening this year. The Edison is going to be the go-to hotspot for Florida nightlife. The building originally served as a power plant for Disney Springs, and will showcase memories from its past, including the Boiler Bar with electrical panel display and adjacent boilers. On top of the Edison, Disney Springs is welcoming Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, Enzo’s Hideway and Pizza Pointe. Later on in the year, Terralina Crafted Italian, Wine Bar George, Jaleo and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill are set to debut. Food options at Disney Springs just keep on growing!
Travelling around has never been easier, with the Disney ‘Minnie Vans’ launching last year! At $20 per ride, the Minnie Mouse themed taxis will take you from every Deluxe Walt Disney World resort hotel and will take you where you want to go across Disney. These aren’t demand dependent either, meaning you’ll only pay $20 even at peak times, such as straight after the fireworks! Every Minnie Van experience is like the very best Uber experience. The crème de la crème of cast members seem to have been hand-picked to front the Minnie Van venture. It’s working very, very well!
This year it’s set to get fast and furious at Universal Studios, with the arrival of a brand new ride. Buckle up and ride Fast and Furious: Supercharged, an immersive experience that takes you right into the heart of the films. Join the virtual queuing system and select a ride time, while checking out the other attractions on offer at Universal Studios! You’ll hear all the hit songs, see all your favourite moments and take photos with the cars from last year’s The Fate of the Furious. All this is before you even get onto the ride! Dom (Vin Diesel) invites you to attend a race after-party on one of Tej’s customised party busses, before being tracked down by criminal mastermind Owen Shaw. You’ll be involved in a high-speed chase as the Fast & Furious family strives to keep you safe from the clutches of Shaw. Will you make it?
Step outside and enjoy the new lagoon show planned for 2018. Universal has stated the new show will include animation featuring characters from favourite universal attractions, a new storyline, music, lighting and special effects. Though they haven’t stated a name, details or opening date, we do know it’s coming soon!
SeaWorld / Aquatica
There’s a new ride at both SeaWorld and its Waterpark relative, Aquatica! Infinity Falls in SeaWorld is a raft ride guaranteed to get you SOAKED! Wind down a lost jungle river as you get drenched by fountains and waterfalls as you pass the remains of ancient civilization. Hang on though, because you’re about to go plummeting down the tallest drop of its kind into churning white-water. A 40 foot drop will surely soak the eight adventurers in your raft! Over at Aquatica, don your swimming gear and grab your tube as you choose between three ways to slide. Water Jets will launch your raft from zero to awesome in seconds. Take a twisting turn inside a water sphere and dive into the giant manta wings, swooping up and down a different path each time. Fill your raft with family and friends for three times the thrills on Ray Rush!
Project X is getting a dramatic makeover! The life-size LEGO TECHNIC vehicle allows you the chance to ride along a wild rollercoaster track. Project X will be transforming into The Great LEGO Race as it gets the virtual reality treatment. Choose whether you will don your VR headset and get transported into a dazzling environment where everything is made of LEGO bricks. Fans of LEGO will be immersed in a 360 degree action packed experience that takes place on the ground and in the air. Race against minifigure favourites such as a pirate, wizard, surfer and pharaoh in vehicles like rocket powered windsurfers, stylish scooters and an ornately canopied bed! The Great LEGO Race was built and inspired by the way that children play with their LEGO at home.
A trip to Florida sampling the newest rides needs a stay in a brand spanking new hotel! There are two to choose from, with the Margaratville Orlando Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel opening in 2018. The Margaritaville Resort is a brand new, one-of-a-kind vacation escape. This 187-room hotel is supplemented by a lagoon style pool, soft beaches and first class dining, retail and entertainment! Did we mention it has a 12 acre waterpark!? The casual, luxury vibe and live music offerings will draw visitors and locals alike when it opens in late 2018. The Aventura Hotel is stylish and modern and set to open in August 2018. This new landmark offers 600 rooms, most of which have views of one of three Universal parks. With bright open spaces and a relaxed atmosphere, you could be one of the first to experience Universal’s newest on-site hotel in August! Universal hotels have perks such as: early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay, and free and easy transport to the parks.
So if you’re heading to Florida or thinking about going… which ride will you be heading to first?